School helpline a huge hit - 285 calls have been received in only one week
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- Published 30.10.10
|A person lodges a complaint at the grievance cell of the school and mass education department in Bhubaneswar. Telegraph picture|
Bhubaneswar, Oct. 29: The telephone hasn’t stopped ringing at the state school and mass education departments’ grievance cell, where the recently launched students helpline has received a staggering 285 calls in just one week.
This makes it about 40-odd complaints a day from students and their wards across the state.
While the figures are a clear indication of the mounting dissatisfaction among students and their parents, one cannot rule out the increasing popularity of the helpline among the student community.
Students have been making calls to register their grievances from across the state on various issues concerning them.
While majority of calls are regarding teacher absenteeism, students have been complaining about shortage of teachers, non-availability of books and private coaching too.
Among other major complaints are the dismal condition of school buildings, non-availability of uniforms, mid day meals and quality of teaching.
There have also been queries on scholarships and stipends.
However no cases of sexual harassment has been reported yet although the department has put a women staff in place receive such calls so that girl students feel comfortable about making complaints regarding sexual abuse.
Both students and their parents have been making calls, officials handling the helpline said.
“The complaints were being duly registered and fed in computers.
Field staff was contacted on a daily basis.
“Some complaints have also been discussed in a recent review meeting,” said an official, adding that the next review meeting is to be scheduled on November 6.
The department launched the toll free number, 1800 345 6722, and an email help line email@example.com on October 19.
The aim was to provide direct access to students going through mental, physical or sexual harassment at schools or hostels could directly air their grievances before the government.
At the time of the launch of the helpline, secretary of the school and mass education department, Aparajita Sarangi had said that the number and email address of the helpline should be put up in prominent places in both public and private schools so that students could get familiar with them.
The toll-free number remains open from 8 am to 8 pm on all working days.